Secrets Hidden in Stone Monuments

In every corner of the world, stones tell the stories of ancient times and the lands they occupy.

Places
3 min
Emily Harriss
Emily Harriss
Secrets Hidden in Stone Monuments
All stories
Places

Let’s explore the secrets of these famous landmarks that have stood through time, set in stone.

A Neolithic Mystery

A timeless marvel that has watched over the English countryside for millennia! Stonehenge took Neolithic builders an astonishing 1,500 years to construct, without the aid of modern technology or even the wheel. But did you know that while the stone slabs hailed from local quarries, its inner ring of bluestones took on a 200-mile journey from Wales to reach their final resting place on Salisbury Plain? An epic voyage for stones in ancient times, and a puzzle that continues to perplex us all today!

Easter Island's Hidden Giants

Did you know the famous Easter Island heads have hidden bodies? The Moai statues, created by early Easter Island residents about a thousand years ago, are tall volcanic rock figures with large heads. They typically stand around 13 to 40 feet tall, weighing about 14 tons each. These statues feature prominent noses and chins, and it's believed they once had coral eyes set into carved sockets. In 1914, archaeologists discovered that the moai statues of Easter Island had bodies hidden underground, covered over time by erosion. This fact remained largely unknown until 2012 when photos from the 1950s and 2010s excavations surfaced in a widespread email.

The Faces of History

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, four monumental faces of U.S. Presidents keep a stoic watch over the nation. While the world recognizes them as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, the mountain itself has its own history. The mountain was named "Six Grandfathers" by a Lakota medicine man Nicolas Black Elk, following a vision. This vision encompassed the six sacred directions: west, east, north, south, above, and below, symbolizing attributes like kindness, love, wisdom, and age, akin to human grandfathers. The granite peak, naturally shaped by wind and rain, remained untouched until 1927, when the monumental carving began.

The Colosseum's Hidden Depths

With its mighty arches and history-steeped stones, the Colosseum accommodated over 50,000 spectators. Its grand shows, from displays of exotic animals and prisoner executions to battle reenactments and gladiator duels, entertained Romans for generations. But behind the robust and theatrical exterior, did you know that the Colosseum housed an intricate underground world known as the "hypogeum"? An elaborate network of tunnels and cages beneath the arena floor, where gladiators and animals were held before they ascended into the arena.

Greece's Enduring Symbol

A seemingly serene and stoic structure atop the Acropolis of Athens, the Parthenon has overseen Greece through its most triumphant and tumultuous times. The temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, was constructed using approximately 13,400 stones. The cost of its construction was around 470 silver talents, equivalent to about $7 million U.S. dollars today. Despite facing earthquakes, fires, wars, explosions, and looting, the Parthenon stands as a testament to ancient Greece and Athenian heritage. Today, it's among the world's most iconic structures, symbolizing the grandeur of ancient Greece.

Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripley’s Round Trip and remember, history isn't just confined to the pages of a book; it's etched in stone, standing strong through the ages.


About The Author

Emily Harriss

Emily Harriss

As the Social Media Strategist for Ripley’s, Emily ensures fans are always in the loop with the late…

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